Mass Exodus: Staggering Numbers Of America’s Young People Are Rejecting The Christian Faith

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For decades, the United States has been thought of as a “Christian nation” around the globe.  But today that is dramatically changing – especially among America’s young people.  The truth is that all of the recent polls tell us that Americans under 30 years of age are rejecting the Christian faith in unprecedented numbers.  In fact, what the numbers reveal is not a slow move away from the Christian faith.  Rather, they clearly portray a massive wave of young Americans running away from traditional Christianity as fast as they can.   

For example, a shocking new survey by LifeWay Christian Resources shows that the vast majority of young adults in America today do not go to church, do not pray and do not read the Bible.

Just consider a few of the results from this incredibly troubling survey of 18 to 29 year old Americans….

•65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.

•65% rarely or never attend worship services of any kind.

•67% don’t read the Bible or any other religious texts on a regular basis.

That is a solid two-thirds of American young adults who don’t even have the slightest connection to traditional Christianity.

Thom Rainer, the president of LifeWay Christian Resources, says that if the current trends continue, “the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships.”

The survey did find that 65% of those surveyed did call themselves “Christian”, but among that 65%, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,” Rainer says. “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.”

But it just isn’t this latest survey that is showing a mass exodus from the Christian faith by America’s young people.

According to a recent survey by America’s Research Group, 95 percent of 20 to 29 year old evangelical Christians attended church regularly during their elementary school and middle school years. However, only 55 percent of those young evangelical Christians still attended church regularly during high school, and only 11 percent of them were still regularly attending church when they went to college.

Only 11 percent.

And that was among self-identified evangelical Christians.

But the most recent American Religious Identification Survey conducted by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society & Culture at Trinity College was perhaps even more shocking.

According to that survey, 15% of Americans now say they have “no religion” – which is up from 8% in 1990.  However, what was much more disturbing was that 46% of Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 indicated that they had no religion in the survey.

46 percent.

That is not just a trend.

That is not just a landslide.

That is a mass exodus.

Today there is a mass exodus of America’s young people from the traditional Christian faith.  There is simply no getting around it.

Another recent by the Barna group showed that less than 1 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 23 hold a Biblical worldview.

So what is a Biblical worldview?

Well, the Barna survey defined someone as holding “a Biblical worldview” if they agreed to the following six key beliefs:

1) Believing that absolute moral truth exists.
2) Believing that the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
3) Believing that Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic.
4) Believing that a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works.
5) Believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth.
6) Believing that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

Using those six criteria, less than 1 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 23 hold a Biblical worldview.

The implications of this are staggering.

The truth is that the United States is quickly becoming a highly secularized nation.  Europe has already been down this road, and now America is rapidly following.

Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of churches will close as people simply quit going.  Large numbers of Christian ministries, radio stations, television shows and book stores will have to shut their doors because there will not be nearly enough people to support them.

But the most frightening thing of all is that we are losing almost an entire generation to the world.  Never before in U.S history has an entire generation rejected the gospel as much as this one has. 

America’s young people are rejecting the Christian faith, and yet the Christian establishment keeps running around and telling everyone that everything is fine.

Everything is NOT fine. 

The Church in America is broken.  It is very rare to find a church where authentic Christianity is being practiced anymore.  Our young people are not stupid.  They know what is real and what is not.  If the Church in America would repent and turn back to real, authentic Christianity at least we would have a chance of capturing the attention of those young Americans who are honestly looking for the truth.

But it is not all the fault of the Church.  The truth is that we have created a society where children are taught that Christianity is not important.  Our public schools teach our children day after day after day that they evolved from monkeys, that abortion, sex before marriage and homosexuality are perfectly moral and that anyone who disagrees is a bigot.  Then they go home and they are surrounded by entertainment for the rest of the day (television, radio, video games, Internet, movies) and the overwhelming message regarding the Christian faith in these forms of entertainment is that either Christianity is irrelevant, not true or should be openly mocked.

So should we be surprised when the overwhelming majority of them reject the Christian faith?  Should we expect anything else?

We have raised our children in the godless society that we have constructed and now we are so surprised that they are godless.

But nobody should be surprised.

We are just reaping what we have sown.

For those who have read this article and are wondering what in the world Biblical Christianity is all about, we encourage you to check out this article….

What Does The Bible Say About Salvation?

  The Beginning Of The End - The New Novel About The Future Of America By Michael T. Snyder
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  • Jeff

    Came across this article on The FREE Dictionary somehow, and I can’t tell you how happy it made me. My dream is that all places of worship in my city, my county, my whole state, across the country, and throughout the world would close its doors, and this gives me hope.

  • Anthony

    I had no idea that the statistics were this bad, I am saddened by this news. I hope that my generation can change. As a good Christian I will strive to fight the good fight and not become one of these statistics that is turning away from God.

    • DeepSouthOtaku

      if you want to fight the good fight go see three dog and take up arms against the enclave.

  • Jed

    I googled the phrase “mass exodus” to make sure my usage was correct and I find myself here. I am filled with excitement for the future.

  • James

    Anthony, no such thing as a “good” Christian! Its just one beggar showing another a bit of light or where a scrap to eat can be found. I heard a nice expression recently: the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints…

  • Ryo

    Good… Organized religion is the stupidest thing ever invented.

  • Brett Page

    Interesting statistics about praying with others, attending worship services of any kind and reading the bible.

    No stats, however, about young people giving to charity, working with the poor or otherwise practically living out the Gospels’ message of compassion and care for the underdog.

    These are the things which reflect traditional connectivity with Christianity. And I’m confident that many of those absent from the pews are present where it counts in the soup kitchens and refuges.

  • Lee Picton

    Yay! The faster religion dies, the better. They are evil institutions, interested only in their own propagation, and raking in the money. Always follow the money. I am mizlee at aol dot com if you wish to discuss. And yes I am atheist, and have been for over 60 years.

  • sHARON

    I am of the belief that there is one God and his name is Jesus, as stated in ! Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. and in Ephesians 4:4-9. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) I think these verses prove my point, When I go to heaven I am going to see ONE sitting on the throne.

  • Ryan

    I had already guessed that these stats were correct but I’m glad that this article supports these facts. I would be considered part of the percentage which was raised in an evangelical church and even attended over 5 years of Awana clubs which is basically like religious boy scouts. Not only that, but I was forced to attend a Christian college at 18. All of this led to my rejection of the faith and everything it teaches except maybe Jesus’ teachings about love and charity. And ironically enough, these are the teachings most “Bible believing” Christians ignore. Infact, on mentioning this to them, they will usually ignore me and tell me that “love” is not all that Christianity is about, even though it is supposedly Jesus greatest commandment…..sad.

  • jasper mcmillan

    Its very sad that a majority of the comments on this page seem to rejoice in this story. They are glad that the Christian Church is suffering and declining in as far as young people are concerned. Hell and Heaven are real. There is a titanic struggle being waged at this moment for mans very soul and most people are blind to it. Many, including a great many young people, wont discover the truth until they stand before Jesus and are told that he never knew them. They blame their attitudes regarding Christianity on other older Christians, the Church and everything/one but themselves. Bibles are available everywhere therefore the claim that one didn’t know about Jesus and the salvation that he offers though his blood sacrifice on the cross simply wont wash when it counts.

  • Briana

    In Jesus’ own words he said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. That is this era. “Lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God,” 2 Timothy 3:4. It’s disgusting. You people are fulfilling scripture and you don’t even know it. I’m completely disheartened to see this, and to see the attitudes put forth. Mock the church all you want, but His Word will remain forever.

  • jenp83

    @Briana, It’s incredibly easy for any religion to predict that people in the future would inevitably move away from it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. Therefore they write in into their scriptures like they’re actually predicting the future and use it to scare people into believing their doctrine. Just like they use the line “even if you’re a good person you’ll still go to Hell if you don’t believe what we believe.” Sounds like typical cover your a** speak to me, once again, to scare people into believing.

    Oh, and I guess you assume if a person isn’t going to church they’re “Lovers of Pleasure”. Really?

  • zugu

    This is amazing news.

  • Brett Page

    Funny how the original article mentions absolutely nothing about young Americans’ attitudes to matters of social justice. Health care reform, treatment of the disadvantaged and marginalized (prisoners and other ‘least of my brothers types). You know, all the things Jesus continually pushed. I suspect they haven’t abandoned the values which underpin these things. Just the boring, dull and irrelevant religious services they were forced to endure growing up.

    • A. L. Locasio

      Exactly right!!!

  • Zion

    This is the worst set of comments I have ever seen in all my life…clearly it is so easy to see but yet you are still blinded. We Christians are to Preach the Good Faith, that’s the charity we need to be involved in, for this hopeless world. Charity is good yes, but not going to save you from the rapture. Fact one: Christianity is not a religion so get that straight, it’s a personal, one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ who was mocked, beaten, spat on, whipped, thorns put in his head, and crucified on a cross for your lives. It says in Matt. 10:33 that whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my Father in heaven. The Gospel is not to be argued upon mere mentalities, go ahead and read it but if you don’t have the Holy Spirit you shall not understand the Truth behind His words. There are no “religious” ceremonies or “traditional” services! You who perversely talk about the bible and have defile the true message Jesus has left behind have no reverence for the King of Kings. The world is gone…minds are deceived by the plague of locusts. My hope and prayer is still for your salvation…although come what may for you who have heard the Word and have rejected it. There is still time, although it’s running out, to ask Jesus for salvation.

  • I don’t understand why everyone (especially Christians) are surprised. To the author of this article – you need to reread your Bible especially the section where Jesus speaks of a mass exodus from faith during End Times. Jesus isn’t surprised and you shouldn’t be either.

  • jasper mcmillan

    Its a sad commentary on the spiritual condition of America but it didn’t just start with the younger generation. It began with their parents and possibly even before that.
    The Bible DOES state that there would be a “great falling away” before Christ’s return. It also states that the social conditions that existed in Sodom and Gomorrah before their destruction as well as those that existed just prior to the great Flood would be present during the last days. If ever there was a time for a mass revival of the people, it is now. Once God says “enough” if he hasn’t already, it will be too late. People need to understand that they can not just live any way they choose and STILL find happiness. America is presently, out of control. Violence of every type is running rampant. Our so-called leaders have proven to be spineless cowards. Our Churches are nothing more than havens for those who desire to hear what they WANT to hear and NOTHING MORE!! The blood of countless youth runs into the gutters of America’s cities. Men are demanding to be allowed to marry other men and women are demanding to marry other women.
    The requirements for a blessed life were instituted by God for a reason. Every civilization that has purposefully chosen to reject the Commandments of God has had a very unhappy demise preceded by the unprecedented unraveling of the social fabric at every level. Money, drugs and power will only get you so far…..then what? They surely don’t buy happiness. The constant and never-ending stream of well known AND wealthy celebrities in entertainment and sports who die at their own hands through suicide, drug over dose or violence of some type should more than prove the point.
    May God have mercy on us and our unrepentant hearts.

    • DeepSouthOtaku

      “The Bible DOES state that there would be a “great falling away” before Christ’s return” it also states that he would return before the generation jesus spoke to passed from this earth…… I don’t think there are any 2000+ year old people on this planet. fact is religion is just fairytales not just Christianity but all religions your belief isn’t special or right or the only way. and if your dumb enough to believe a 2000 year old fairytale book your worse than scientologist at least their fairytale book is more recent.

  • dan

    Churches closing? That’s a problem? Why?

  • Mr. Joe

    1) Believing that absolute moral truth exists.
    – To believe in the absolute is to reject the possibility of change, and of alternative views. The world is much more subjective than that, and the fact is there is no absolute right or wrong. There are many right things to do, and many wrong things to do. The belief in absolutes leads to the persecution of those who do not agree with your views.

    2) Believing that the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
    -If every verse in the Bible were to be followed as absolute truth and used as a guide to life in every situation there would be a great deal more murder and a lot less progress and compassion. In many cases the bible has served as law for countries in the past. (Spanish inquisition anyone?)

    3) Believing that Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic.
    -Whether you believe in an ultimate evil being who can be blamed for all the woes of the world does not change your actions. How can we accept the placement of blame for our own actions on a mysterious being of pure “evil”? Is it not better to learn from our errors?

    4) Believing that a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works.
    -Wow, that really makes you want to be a Christian… Why would you believe that there was no way to save your own soul? This one even caught me by surprise.

    5) Believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth.
    -A bit outlandish if he was indeed mortal, but this one I am willing to accept as indisputable by either side. I accept sin as a relative concept, which makes this one easier to chew.

    6) Believing that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.
    -Another concept vague enough that no dispute can be made. Though how does one who gives free will to all rule the universe?

    I truly believe in the core teachings of Jesus (whether a fictional, or factual being). I believe that treating others with love, respect, and kindness is the best way to bring our country out of the depths of despair to which it has sunk.

    I would much rather give 10% of my income to those in need around me than to an organization fraught with corruption, and hellbent on convincing me of the peril my immortal soul faces.

    There is no greater joy in this world than to give, to teach, and to love your fellow man. This lesson is better learned by some outside the walls of a chapel where one might find themselves told that their eternal soul cannot be saved by “[being] good or by doing good works”.

  • Magicman In The Sky

    Good! This is great news! Modern society can not continue to believe in archaic and stone age nonsense forever, especially when reason, logic, and science negates these fairy-tales and fictional stories.

    To all you Bible-Thumpers-
    You want every kid in the world to waste their brains and his potential on blind faith in a magical story? Religion inhibits progress and scientific/technolog​ical advancements in the human race. If we listened to religion, (the story made to explain things before we had the ability to understand our surroundings), and didn’t try to figure things out for ourselves we would still believe we are at the center of our solar system and the world is flat! Thanks to SCIENCE, reason, math, and logic we have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the laws and fabric of our universe. Sorry, but the geniuses that make these discoveries don’t make them by praying to a deity or hugging a Bible. They do it by applying themselves and spending their lives working to explain the unknown, and make discoveries to further our understanding. This is why humans have knowledge. This is why we are where we are today. Not because we raised our children on a religion that encourages them to put blind faith in a story which is patently false, rather than learn or understand what really happened.

  • jasper mcmillan

    This should not be a surprise to anyone. Most past civilizations demonstrated a similar phenomena prior to total collapse. The Bible itself, speaks of a time when people would desert the Christian faith in droves. We live in a time when people do not want any restrictions on the way they lead their lives. The motto: “whatever feels good IS good” is what most Americans adhere to today. They feel like they’ve “advanced” above the need for any belief in a God who judges. When prayer and bible reading were tossed out of public schools in the early 60’s, school scores and student behavior plummeted. We now have a deluge of Teachers sexually assaulting their students and students engaged in a myriad of criminal behavior both in and outside of school including drugs, robbery, rape and murder. Many graduate from College without the slightest inkling of the history of this country. A survey of ten top colleges offered a frightening look at what fourth year students DID NOT know. Most could not find the Mississippi River on an unmarked map. Many had no idea of who won either world war nor of even who won the Civil War nor of even who the sitting president was……but they DID know when the latest violent video games would be released and what “hottie or hunk” was getting married in Hollywood. Subjects such as Ethics and Accountability for ones actions are nowhere to be found in grade school nor college and as a result, we now have Judges, businessmen and women and even Pastors with absolutely no foundation at all in morality or even a sense of right and wrong. There is a tendency among generations of Christians today to skewer scripture to fit whatever lifestyle is preferably. Scripture is twisted by many Pastors and taken totally out of context to wring as much money as possible from gullible congregations who never open theirs. Professing Pastors are marrying same-sex couples and are proud of it. History books have been rewritten to portray America’s founders as Deists or outright nonbelievers and most Americans think that this is a good thing. They find the Word of God to be too restrictive because it denounces many activities that are very popular today such as same-sex marriage and adoptions, adultery and other promiscuous behavior, extreme violence, lack of respect for anyone, thievery and lying in politics and Courts of Law and many more.
    All of the aforementioned were present in the Greek, Roman, Persian and other Empires just prior to their fall. A set of indisputable rules and standards for behavior must exist in order for any society to function properly. America drew hers from the Bible until recently despite what revisionists would have us to believe. Unless a drastic change comes about in American society and quickly, there is no hope for this country for Christ was the “glue” that held this country together in a time when our enemies were on the verge of defeating us. It was Christ and nothing else that caused America to prosper even when she should have failed. America has experienced many dangers from outside and even inside her borders. She withstood a Civil War, two world Wars and even a financial collapse but she has survived because of men and women with a strong faith in the God of Abraham and thus the will to continue to persevere. They are the salt and the light of this country and once they are gone America will enter a time of trouble that many find hard to believe.

  • Brett Page

    Funny how the benchmarks of young people’s commitment to the Christian faith in this piece were (i) how often they went to church (ii) how often they read the Bible and (iii) how often they pray with others. Absolutely nothing about how often they perform some type of service for the poor, the sick, the marginalised. Nothing about soup kitchens. Visiting the sick or elderly. All the stuff Jesus exhorted us to do in the Gospels. A very typical American response, if I may be so bold. From the country where Christians hold up signs saying that health care is not a right! No wonder they have a very narrow interpretation of what it means to be a Christian.

  • mac

    Although the Church has been extremely negligent in her duties and have to answer for that eventually, young people are also responsible for their own decisions. Americans and mankind as a whole have always strove to do whatever they desired to do regardless of the morality of it. This country is not the first to proclaim that “God is dead, long live mankind”. History is full of examples of fools who found the rules and statues of the Bible to be “too confining” and thus rejected the Bible and God out of hand…..and vanished into the dustbins of time. The really sad thing, is, Atheists/Secular Humanists have convinced millions to follow them in their folly. We live in a sensuous society where the motto is: if it feels good, then do it. We operate on emotions regardless of where they lead us, meanwhile, the secular world has done all that it can do to discredit God and the Bible in this country and for that, there is a price that must be paid. Despite the claims of those who hate Christianity, America’s troubles were not brought about by over-zealous Christians but quite the contrary, it was out of control humanism that did the damage. We now have young business men and women who do not even know what the word “Ethics” means. A survey of the top Universities in America revealed that students were totally ignorant regarding the Christian heritage of some of the best school in America including Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Secular humanists have succeeded in removing most if not all reference’s to the Christian faith of America’s founders from history programs. They are arrogant enough to think that they will not have to answer for their actions at some point but they are wrong. Meanwhile our young as well as some older adults who should know better, continue to march down the merry path to destruction. The murder rate among our young is off the charts. Our government is in shambles. Morality is laughed at, STD’S are sky high and yet there are those who persist in blathering the old belief that mankind will eventually overcome all of societies ills and bring about Utopia here on earth………..there is nothing in the history of man to indicate that he has the potential to abstain from self destruction if left alone yet he continues to hopelessly struggle against forces that he can not even comprehend but is too smug in his own limited knowledge to entertain the idea that without God he is doomed.

  • Alan Ray

    There might be hope for the human race after all.